Soft Carrot Cake

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Happy September everyone! I hope you’ve had a lovely start into the new month. Punctually with the change came the rain, sadly. It surely seems like autumn has arrived now and I doubt that we will have another heat wave flying over Zurich (though I wouldn’t mind a little more summer).

If there is one thing I love doing on rainy days it’s baking. As much as I have loved the summer heat waves, turning on the oven was a pain.. So here’s to the more chill days coming up! I love good carrot cakes, and with good I mean free of gluten and lactose, soft and spongy. This cake is exactly that – it really tastes amazing when warm (also good when cooled down), but tastes amazing when re-heated a minute or two in the microwave. So really, it’s one of those comforting foods when everything starts getting dull with the constant rain or for late autumn. It should be getting sunnier again this weekend but I am flying to Germany later tonight and sadly the weather hasn’t favored me over there! But now,.. to the recipe.

What you need

3 cups of freshly grated carrots (around 450 g)
1 ½ cups brown sugar
1 cup olive oil (or any other vegetable oil if you don’t like the taste)
2 cups gluten free flour
4 fresh medium eggs
2 tsp baking powder
2-3 tsp cinnamon (3 if you love cinnamon like me)
a hint of salt

What to do

1) pre-heat the oven to around 180°C
2) make sure to grate the carrots upfront and add those into the bowl first
3) add the sugar, oil, and one cup of flour – now blend it well
4) add the rest of ingredients one by one and mix well until everything is blended well
5) the dough should taste a little sweet yet oily at first
6) put the dough into a baking dish and leave it in for 45-60 min
7) make sure to check on the cake from time to time – if no dough sticks to the toothpick (or something similar), the cake is ready!
8) give the cake a good rest of at least 20 minutes – this way it won’t break

Now you can

1) eat it whilst it’s still a little warm, served with a hot cup of tea or coffee
2) let it fully cool down and enjoy it in the warmth (inside or outside)
3) re-heat it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes if you prefer it warm

The cake will easily last you a week when kept in the fridge and several weeks when kept in the freezer.

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With that, I wish you some happy-food-thoughts!
xo

Homemade Wild Garlic Pesto

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Oh Sunday, why are you almost over already? I really wish I had a day between Saturday and Sunday sometimes – there is always so much I would like to do and so little time in the end! Today I treated myself with some gluten free pasta for lunch, I have not had that in forever! I topped it with some delicious wild garlic pesto which I made earlier this week – and quite honestly, I can barely get enough of it. So I thought I’d share the recipe with you, for those interested in making some as well. It’s not just great with pasta, but literally: on everything. I’ve had it over my rice crisp avocado breakfasts, over my asparagus, even in combination with an apple salad (so good!).

Last Monday I took a walk through the forest when I discovered wild garlic growing everywhere – everything was green; it was breathtaking and the smell.. amazing! In the midst of the garlic fields were quite a few people, already collecting this delish’ herb, and so of course I had to join in. Now making wild garlic pesto is probably among the easiest recipes to-do, and for me, as always; gluten free and diary free.

As always, I’d love to see your versions of it – so make sure to add #StylePhantomrecipes when reposting it on Instagram or similar and I will surely check it out!

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What you need

A large handful of fresh wild garlic (measured 175g)
½ cup of cashews (measured 75g)
½ cup of cold pressed olive oil
some sea salt
extra olive oil to cover up

What to do

1) take the stems off the garlic leaves and half them
(or find the appropriate size to fit in your blender)
2) wash the garlic quickly once
(you want to make sure that the garlic doesn’t absorb too much water, to not loose taste)
3) one handful after another, blend the garlic until a thick, green paste is achieved
4) add the cashews and olive oil and start mixing again
5) once you have a soft texture, add a sprinkle of sea salt and let it mix one last round
(you can always add more oil if needed)

Voila, now you can either

1) eat it directly with some pasta or another dish
2) add some more parmesan into it if you wish
3) fill it up into a mason jar and seal the top until all of the pesto is covered in olive oil
(this is needed for the pesto to not dry out, keep its taste and most importantly, stay fresh up to 3-4 weeks in the fridge)

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Now, how hungry are you after these pictures? I really wouldn’t mind another round.. :-)

Wishing you a lovely Sunday xo

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Banana Bread Breakfasts

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Happy Friday! Ahh… the week has gone by so fast – almost too fast! I still have so many things on my agenda to finish and it doesn’t look like I’ll finish by tonight. In fact,  I am packed until Sunday evening. Only to start off to a new week on Monday. Especially on busy days like these I am a true believer in having great breakfasts. In the morning I always have the feeling I need to get as many vitamins and nutritions as possible to kick-start the day off in the best way possible.

This morning I started my day with some workouts – it feels so good! I admit I am not the biggest fan of working out in the morning right after waking up. In general, I am not the biggest morning person until I have had my breakfast – then it’s all fine again. :-) If I don’t do my workouts in the morning though, I don’t do it at all it seems. I don’t really have the time over lunch (especially if lunch meetings intervene) and in the evening I normally am too exhausted to work out and if I do workout, then I can’t sleep for ages. So I’ve started doing workouts on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays – finishing my third week now. Wohoo – let’s keep the motivation going (yes, clearly trying to motivate myself)!

Back to my favorite topic though: my breakfasts. I am still in love with this banana bread – especially in combination with one of my favorites, avocado, and here, an actual banana. I eat one fruit every morning, usually banana or an apple – sometimes even both. I have posted the recipe for this gluten and dairy free banana bread recently here.

My day today is packed with work, meetings, coffee (meeting too), and some personal projects in the evening after work, which I will update you about in the next days! So I don’t think I’ll come home anytime before 10 or 11pm tonight it seems. Another reason to have a great breakfast (and lunch, as I might not be able to squeeze in dinner today)! Wishing you all a great Friday for now and a great weekend to come! xo

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Home-made Applesauce

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Tis the season to eat apples! I love apples – even more, I love applesauce and I especially love it when it’s home-made. Demanding, eh? haha, due to my intolerances though I cannot eat whatever I want anymore – packed, pre-made food from the supermarket normally doesn’t do it for me anymore. Instead, I try making all the little things myself now. I normally cannot live without breakfast during the week: I just need to have the energy when I’m at the office the whole day. At the same time, I’ll be honest with you, do I not have any patience when it comes to cooking in the mornings. Instead, I try to prepare my meals as much as possible or at least eat something that only takes minutes to make.

I primarily eat glutenfree porridge in the morning, which I quickly make with boiling water. I don’t have the patience anymore to make it in a cooking pot, even if it’s only 5 minutes. I then add some of my home-made applesauce on top and voila: my breakfast is done and fills me up until lunch.

Here’s what you  need:

– cinnamon
– apples (approx. 2 kg)
– zucrinet (or any other kind of sweetning)
– knife
– cutting board

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I’ll be honest, I was way too lazy to cut the apples into such small pieces. Instead, I cut the apples into fours and placed them in my mixer. Do that with all apples, until none are left over. Put the grated apples into a pot and start heating up the sauce. Then add cinnamon (as much as you like). I am realllly into cinnamon, so I placed about 3 tablespoons into the sauce. On top of that, I added about 80 grams of my zucrinet. Remember that if you use sugar, you might need to taste the apple sauce until the sweetning is good – sugar is not as sweet as different sweetning agents. Now let the applesauce boil up and start stirring once it boils. Lower the temperature until it only boils a little bit and keep on stirring the sauce from time to time. Voila, after approximately 20 minutes you have your home-made apple sauce. If you fill the sauce into airtight jars, and store the jars in a cool, dark room, the sauce will last you 2-3 months. Honestly, it will never last that much for me – my consumption is way too high!

Enough now – the recipe is super easy. Good luck to all of you wanting to try it.

Tipp: If you want the sauce to be less saucy (less like a sauce and more like stewed apples), you can always add some jam sugar/preserving sugar to the mixture. Make sure to cook the sauce another 10-15 minutes, if you decide to add the sugar later on. Also, you can leave more apple pieces in the sauce and not puree everything like I did.

What is your experience on making apple-sauce?

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